Today took a longish ride from Hawes which touched on Wensleydale, Widdale, Dentdale and Garsdale.
Distance: 25 miles
Time: 3 hours
Mainly off road, some tough climbs made up for by a great off-road descent to Newby Head and a steep drop down to Garsdale Station on the Coal Road.
From Hawes ride towards Bainbridge on the A684 then after about a mile trun up to Burtersett. Follow the road up through the Village aand after another mile of climbing, you come to a “crossroads” where the bridleway crosses the road, it on the corner and you can`t really miss it. Turn right and continue climbing. This track climbs for over a mile, keep going through to 2 gates before a flat section and then a descent down to the Beggermans Road, near to Fleet Moss. Follow this road for about 3/4 mile and take the single track road to the right signposted to Cam. This single track tarmac road carries on for about 2.5 miles. Once at the top follow the road to the left past the bridleway, don`t take this bridleway turning back to Hawes and Snaizeholme. After another 1/4 mile you come to set of gates and a cattle grid. Just before this is a field gate and a signposted Bridleway to the right Newby Head Road 2.5 miles. Go through the gate and follow the track across the top of the Fells, the track starts to become gravelled. You start to descend and pass though a small gate.
From here is a great fast gravelled descent down to Newby Head at the top of Widdle. Have fun down here. This eventually gets you to the main road (B6255), cross over the road taking the juncion to Dent. After another half mile you will see another bridleway climbing up to the top of the hill to the right, I think signposted Arten Gill Moss 1 1/4 mile. This is a pretty long and strenuous climb, but from the top the views are great down Widdle and back to Inglebrough. the track eventually turns grassy before another small descent to a crossroads of tracks. Stone House/Widdle/Newby Head and the Coal Road. This time go through the gate and up the hill towards the Coal Road 2 miles. After this first short sharp climb the track again levels out and there can be some great views of Dentdale and its railway and viaducts. You will be able to see the Yorkshire 3 Peaks and the track takes you above Dent railway station, before joining the Coal Road. Again turn right and now the rest of the route is on the road. This first section towards Garsdale takes you past Garsdale railway station and is very steep in places so watch for cars.
Once you arrive at Garsdale railway station and have passed under the railway look out for the bridleway sign. Its just after the row of station houses and again is to the right and through a small gate. This takes you behind the station and then underneath Garsdale Viaduct, which is a great sight. Unfortunately, we are back at the main road, but it could be an excuse to pop in to the Moorcock Inn for a stiffener! Now its about 6 miles back on the road to Hawes!
A quick plug for my dads video production company, after 6 long years this video, The Hill Farmer in the Yorkshire Dales has finally been completed. It follows the farming year of the Fothergill Family in Widdale, through the major events of their hill farm. Includes lambing, shearing, haymaking, sheep sales etc. A trailer for the production can be seen on youtube (see below) and if you wish to purchase pop over to the website at amfilms. Available on both DVD and Bluray.
Took a long ride taking in Upper Wensleydale and a small part of Swaledale today.
Distance: 28 miles
Time: 4.0 Hours
Mainly off road, some tough climbs made up for by a couple of great descents.
Starting from Hawes I took the main road to Bainbridge and then across the valley to Askrigg, through the village and up to Nappa, the turn is signposted Napp Scar and climb the No-Through Road up towards the house at the top, where it joins with the Bridleway, bear right and follow the track towards Woodhall and just keep following the Bridleway signs to Castle Bolton, this follows the the fell side contours, mostly across green fields for about 4.5 miles. If the weather is fine you get some great views of Wensleydale.
Once in Castle Bolton go past the Castle and in to the village. After about 50 yards, look to your left for a gap between the House’s and you should see the Green and Orange Bridleway notice. From here starts a long climb initially up a path before opening out in to fields. The route is indistinct but you basicly are climbing straight up the hill side, before bearing left and following the wall up until the track becomes fenced. Got to say this is pretty steep and the climb just keeps going!
Once at the top you are through the gate and bear right along the track. What follows is a good section gravelly downhill after that stiff climb. Past the first Shoot House and gate before coming to a crossroads of bridleways. Take the Bridle way to the left and follow the track. This continues for a couple of miles with at least one very steep ascent, just keep on the track and don`t take any turns as these others are for the Grouse Shoot and farmers and are not public rights of way. You know your on the right track if you get to a very steep ascent with a concreted section, good luck.
Once at the top there is a fantastic flowing few miles of downhill before coming to the tarmac road in Swaledale near Crackpot. From here turn left for the last couple of miles on the single track road back up to the top of Askrigg Moor, keep on going down the singletrack road into Askrigg carefully for cars as there are some blind corners and dips. Once in Askrigg you will reconginse the A684 and bear right back to Hawes.
Long hardpack climbs, good grassy descents.
Time: about 2hours
Took a ride this morning from Hawes, up the old Roman Road above Burtersett, a long section of wide hardpack bridleway, about 4 miles off-road before joining the main Beggermans Road for a half mile, then took the tarmac singletrack road to Cam Farm through the gate for about 2 miles. Then bearing right at the Bridleway sign, after the gate, back towards to Snaizholme, this skirts along the top side of Snaizeholme for a couple of miles, then just as you get over the top and begin to descend, take the Bridleway to the right to Gaudy Farm House.
This takes you on a grassy bridleway over the top of the fells. There are some great views of Upper Wensleydale from up here. Now its a couple of miles of grassy downhill, great fun after the rain, usually very wet and muddy, there are a few gates to open, buts its an excuse to look at where you`ve been and back onto the tarmac and down to Hawes.